The Victorian Government has announced it will spend $5.3 billion to build more than 12,000 public housing homes over the next four years, ABC News reports.
Construction will start immediately on what is being described as the largest ever investment by a state government in public housing across the country.
The project is estimated to create 43,000 jobs.
It will respond to what has been called a “desperate need” for public housing in a state with growing wait lists and what had been the lowest public housing spend in the country.
Premier Daniel Andrews said it was “the biggest boost to social and affordable housing in the history of our country”.
“This is all about securing livelihoods, many, many jobs and giving that construction industry the certainty they need after a very challenging year,” he said.
“Each of those 10,000 workers a year, for each of the next four years, with the certainty of that pipeline of work, can spend, can invest, that’s all about creating economic activity and economic benefit for every single Victorian.”
Mr Andrews said 1,000 public housing dwellings would be set aside for Indigenous Victorians, another 1,000 for victims of domestic violence and 2,000 would be provided to people with a mental illness.
“We know from the work of the royal commission, Australia’s first and only royal commission into mental health, that insecure housing can be a massive obstacle to staying well,” he said.
The Victorian Government had been flagging an intention to fund large infrastructure projects in the state budget, to be handed down on November 24, to help Victoria recover from the nation’s longest coronavirus lockdown.
Public housing makes up just 1.9 per cent of Victoria’s total housing stock, compared to a 4.6 per cent average across the OECD.